Many people are fearful of change, both the expected and unexpected they need to experience in order to live life with greater freedom and happiness. Like the acorn that has to die in order to be reborn as an oak tree, we are all in the midst of being transformed. With that transformation, we can become more compassionate, caring people who offer our unique gifts in the service of a larger whole. Change offers us the possibility of growing beyond our perceived limitations to the fullness of our divine potential.
The mysteries of change are known in every world wisdom tradition and provide us with an archetypal map for spiritual growth. In the book Saying Yes to Change: Essential Wisdom for Your Journey, my husband and coauthor Gordon Dveirin and I outline the three classical stages of change that constitute a rite of passage—for instance, from the acorn to the oak or from the caterpillar to the butterfly. First, change entails separation from the old life; second, it ushers in a threshold period of not knowing what’s next; and finally, it paves the way for a return to the world strengthened and transformed. So if you’re in the midst of an unwanted change, rather than thinking of yourself as an unwilling victim, think of yourself as an initiate of the journey of the soul, which will bring you solace as well as wisdom.
The Three Stages of Transformation
1. Separation: The Journey Begins.When I directed a mind/body clinic at a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, patients often told me that the day they were diagnosed with cancer or AIDS, they died to who they were. They felt as if they were falling into an abyss. When illness, job loss, financial reversal, betrayal, divorce, or death of a loved one disrupts our world, our ego identity shatters and we are separated from what was. The human response is fear. At a deeper level, however, a spiritual process is beginning to unfold. The shell of ego cracks, and its habitual way of constructing the world falters. Deprived of familiar frameworks, we are invited to enter the ritual process of transformation
Read the complete article Saying Yes to Change: The Anatomy of Spiritual Transformation
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17